Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic has passed away following a heart attack he suffered during a team dinner Tuesday night in Salt Lake City.
Milojevic, 46, was hospitalized Tuesday night and died Wednesday morning.
“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan Milojević’s sudden passing. This is a shocking and tragic blow for everyone associated with the Warriors and an incredibly difficult time for his family, friends, and all of us who had the incredible pleasure to work with him. We grieve with and for his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa,” the team stated on social media.
We are absolutely devastated by Dejan Milojević's sudden passing.
This is a shocking and tragic blow for everyone associated with the Warriors and an incredibly difficult time for his family, friends, and all of us who had the incredible pleasure to work with him.
We grieve… pic.twitter.com/0wExlLlu5z
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 17, 2024
Read the full statement from the Warriors below:
The Warriors have confirmed that assistant coach Dejan Milojević passed away this morning in Salt Lake City. Here is the release with a quote from Steve Kerr. pic.twitter.com/Yfw4IfWv8x
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 17, 2024
Milojevic was a “mentor to two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and a former star player in his native Serbia,” the Associated Press reports.
“Milojević, part of the staff that helped the Warriors win the 2022 NBA championship,” the outlet added.
Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic has died after a sudden heart attack at only 46 years old. He was at at dinner with the team when it happened. He previously helped train NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. Young people are having heart issues more than ever. RIP. pic.twitter.com/KQXAMn2Ypv
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) January 17, 2024
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) January 17, 2024
From the Associated Press:
Milojević was in his third season with the Warriors. He previously coached in Serbia — where he once worked with a young Jokic before the now-Denver Nuggets star came to the United States — along with Montenegro. He had been a head coach for eight years in Europe and previously was an assistant coach for the Serbian national team alongside current Atlanta assistant Igor Koskoskov.
“The NBA mourns the sudden passing of Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojević, a beloved colleague and dear friend to so many in the global basketball community,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “In addition to winning the 2022 NBA championship in his first season with the Warriors and mentoring some of the best players in the world, Dejan had a decorated international playing career and was a distinguished head coach in his native Serbia.”
Milojević worked closely with Jokic, Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, Orlando center Goga Bitadze and Houston center Boban Marjanovic, among others, during his time as a coach in Europe. With the Warriors, he worked primarily with the big men like Kevon Looney, who raved about Milojević’s attention to detail.
Golden State assistant coach Dejan Milojevic had died. Milojevic, 46, was hospitalized Tuesday in SLC in critical condition. After a decorated 15-year playing/coaching career, the Serbian native joined Warriors staff in 2021. He was a beloved figure in global and league circles.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 17, 2024
Per ABC News:
Milojevic was a star for the Serbian national team during the ’90s and 2000s as well as on several European club teams. He was the Adriatic League MVP three times, according to the Warriors. He played for Serbian clubs Beovuk, FMP and Partizan, among others, before eventually transferring into coaching shortly after his retirement.
He coached for Mega Basket from 2012 to 2020, winning the Serbian Cup in 2016.
Among Milojevic’s players for Mega Basket was Nikola Jokic from 2012 to 2015, joining the team at just 17 years old. Jokic has since gone on to win two league MVP awards with the Denver Nuggets.
“With an extreme pain and huge sadness we have received news that today our Deki has left us in his 46th year of life,” Mega Basket said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.